Programming Challenge Day 2 - Pivotal Tracker

20 Sep 2016

Heads Up Before August 2018 Saber was known as "BugMuncher", so you'll see the name BugMuncher instead of Saber throughout these older posts. You can read more about the name change here - BugMuncher rebrands to Saber.

Day 2 - Pivotal Tracker

Day 1 went pretty well, but wasn’t without its problems, and ended up taking around 7 hours. Pivotal Tracker on the other hand slotted in to place like a well lubricated jigsaw piece.

9:00 am

Just like yesterday with Asana, my first job was to find out if it would even be possible, ie: does Pivotal Tracker even have an API? Turns out yes it does, but no OAuth, just a simple API token based authentication.

I had two options for getting users’ API tokens: Instruct them to copy and paste it from their account, or get it programmatically using their username and password. Even though with option 2 I wouldn’t be storing their username and password, I still don’t like asking for credentials for another service if I can avoid it, so I went with option one.

I quickly set about getting BugMuncher’s API to fetch projects form Pivotal, and create a story in a project.

9:30 am

Well that didn’t take long, it turns out when you don’t have to fuck around with various interpretations of OAuth and refreshing perishable tokens, communication with an API is pretty straight forward. I then set about building the model properly with validations and unit tests.

10:30 am

With model fully working and tested, I started on the controller. Because I didn’t need to proxy an OAuth authentication endpoint, this didn’t take long at all, and by 11:00 am I had completed the controller including integration tests, updated other parts of the app, and made myself a fresh cup of tea. I like Pivotal Tracker.

11:00 am

With the back end API complete, it was time to start on the front end, I couldn’t believe how quickly I was getting through this. Unfortunately it makes for a bit of a boring blog post, because nothing went wrong, the front end went together perfectly and in just half an hour I was ready to test it on the staging server.


Everything worked on the staging server, so it was time to make some documentation, and then make it live. Once I’d tested it on the live server, I updated the homepage to include Pivotal Tracker as an integration, and then emailed Pivotal Tracker to get BugMuncher included on their integrations listing page. Much to my own amazement, I was finished by 12:00.

Total time taken: 3 hours

Well that was suspiciously easy, it meant I had the afternoon to finally write a blog post about BugMuncher’s new free plan, and tackle some other small tasks on my to do list. All in all a very successful day, if only they could all be that easy.

Tomorrow is MailChimp, and I know that one is gonna take a lot more work.

- Matt

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